Revamped Dublin cattle schedule assists buyers

Revamped Dublin cattle schedule assists buyers

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NUMBERS FALL: Dublin saleyards manager Andrew Lepley said the decision to hold the cattle and sheep markets on Tuesday was due to decreased yardings, but he hoped the new system would increase support for the market.

NUMBERS FALL: Dublin saleyards manager Andrew Lepley said the decision to hold the cattle and sheep markets on Tuesday was due to decreased yardings, but he hoped the new system would increase support for the market.

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Decreased yardings at the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin in recent years have prompted a change to the selling schedule, with the cattle market shifting to Tuesday following the sheep market.

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Decreased yardings at the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin in recent years have prompted a change to the selling schedule, with the cattle market shifting to Tuesday following the sheep market.

Saleyard manager Andrew Lepley said while both the sheep and cattle yardings had decreased in the past decade, the dwindling stock numbers in the cattle market swayed the decision to hold both markets on the same day, from the week beginning July 15.

"If you go back to when the yards first opened in 2003, we were yarding around 1500 cattle a week back then, but we've been averaging about 420 cattle a week over the past four or five years," he said.

Mr Lepley said the possibility of moving the two markets to the same day had been discussed for about two years, and "it was time" to make a decision.

All we need are a few additional buyers, and it's going to be a pretty good result here (for producers). - DAMIEN WEBB

He attributed reduced yarding to a lack of cattle arriving from the north, and also said many cattle were going "straight past the yards" to markets further south, such as Mount Compass and Naracoorte.

But Elders northern SA livestock sales manager Damien Webb was confident increased buyer support would encourage cattle producers to sell at Dublin instead of other markets.

"We've got the best selling facilities, as good as any facility. All we need are a few additional buyers, and it's going to be a pretty good result here (for producers)."

He said yardings had the potential to climb if there was a greater buyer presence, which he saw as a possibility if buyers at the sheep market stayed for the cattle sale.

"Having talked to quite a few buyers prior to the decision being made, they said if the sheep and cattle markets were on the same day they'd have the ability to attend and support both sales," he said.

Landmark divisional livestock manager SA Trevor Driver said destocking in the drought meant it would be "a long haul back" to increase stock numbers entering markets.

"Whether it rains or not will make no difference. If it rains we'll try and breed, if it doesn't rain there will be no stock, so there'll be even smaller numbers in a year's time."

I don't think there'd be a saleyard in Australia this year where numbers haven't decreased in comparison to previous years, it's just the way it is. - ANDREW LEPLEY

CIAA agent Michael Lamont believed the greatest benefit of holding both markets on Tuesday was the ease with which producers could transport stock to Dublin.

He said trucking mixed loads of sheep and cattle to arrive at Dublin on Tuesdays would be cheaper for producers, who faced expensive transport costs if they only had enough stock to half fill a load.

VENDORS URGED TO EMBRACE CHANGE

SA Livestock Exchange saleyard manager Andrew Lepley said while the smaller cattle yardings at Dublin were "concerning", holding the cattle and sheep markets on the same day was the best decision, and he was confident buyers and producers would adjust to the change.

"Two or three years ago, when we put the sheep market after the lamb market (rather than running both at the same time), all hell broke lose for about three weeks, and no one would even remember it now," he said.

Mr Lepley said smaller yardings were common across all markets.

"I don't think there'd be a saleyard in Australia this year where numbers haven't decreased in comparison to previous years, it's just the way it is," he said.

Elders northern SA livestock sales manager Damien Webb said it was important for people to realise that changes would be gradual.

"(The cattle market yarding) should build, but I don't think anyone expects it to turn around overnight, if they do it's not realistic, because it's a slow process.

If cattle yardings were to significantly increase, Mr Lepley confirmed that there would be "no problems" in returning to a two-day sale.

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